F.A.Q.s

Have you got specific garments (like trousers, knickers etc)?

Yes we do! We may need to do a test print on some items though, as we may not be able to print on the material or style.

Can you print Direct to Garment (DTG)?

This is a growing part of our business at Fifth Column, so get in touch to find out how we can help you.

What’s your minimum order?

It depends on the design you’d like to get printed/embroidered. We will do an order as small as 25 t-shirts per design but there will be some restrictions on size and number of colours. It’s more economical for you to order at least 50 to be printed.

Can I mix & match shirt and ink colours throughout the same design?

Yes. Different shirt colours are ok as long as the ink colours are the same. However, you must order at least 10 of each shirt colour, and 20 of each print colour. If we need to change ink colours additional fees will apply

Can I mix shirt sizes?

You can order a selection of sizes unless otherwise stated.

I’d like to print on a shirt that isn't listed on your website

This shouldn’t be a problem. We print on hundreds of different brands but to make it easy we only list the most popular ones. As long as we can get the blanks we will print it for you. Just drop us an email and we will see what we can do!

Can I supply my own garments? Can you print on these?

We can almost always print on supplied stuff. If the garments are 100% cotton, it’s no problem. If it’s a different fabric, we suggest doing a couple of print and wash tests before confirming the order. Handling charges will apply if you are supplying your own garments.

I'm missing a few shirts, what happened?

All orders can have up to 10% under run, due to shirts being damaged during printing for example. Because of this, we cannot guarantee that you will receive 100% of the garments in your order. We strongly recommend ordering a few extras to account for this possibility. We always strive to give you everything you ordered. However, if there is a shortage with your order, we will refund or credit you for the difference.

Why do I have to pay for so many screen setups?

Screen setups are based on the amount of colours in your design, so a screen needs to be set up for each colour. If you are printing a light colour on a dark or light coloured garment, we strongly recommend printing an under base to keep the colours vibrant. This also counts as an additional screen/colour; so, for example, printing white on black would count as a 2 colour print. If you have any questions about how many screen setups your design might need, get in touch with us.

How come delivery is £10 for just one sample t-shirt?

Our delivery costs are per box, so no matter whether you have 1 or 30 tees, the price is the same. If you would like to save on these costs, you can always come and collect from us or perhaps arrange your own courier.

What's your turnaround time? Can I have it sooner?

Our standard turnaround time is 7-10 working days + shipping time. Turnaround time is only an estimate and is not guaranteed. It only starts when your order is paid for, we have all information to complete it, AND we have the final approval from you via email. Complex designs or orders with extra add-ons may increase turnaround time. Allow for at least 3 additional days for more complicated labelling. The most up-to-date turnaround time will be confirmed once the order is booked in. If you have a deadline for your order, you must let us know when placing your order and a rush fee may apply. Taking longer than 24 hours to approve your digital proofs may delay your order. Any circumstances out of Fifth Column’s control (i.e. weather delays, shipping errors by the supplier, etc.) may also require more time and are not factored in to the initial turn around time estimate

Can I come in to your office?

You’re more than welcome to come in and have a look around in our showroom.
Please make sure you book an appointment in advance, otherwise we can’t guarantee that we will have someone free to see you.

I will place a large order post sampling, so do I have to pay for the sampling fee?

Yes. The sampling fee applies to cover the time we would need to spend setting up the design/screens/inks to then print one or two garments, for example. However, if you then order over 500 pieces of that design, we would happily take off the sampling charge from your final invoice.

Can you put together my artwork if I tell you what I want?

Yes, we can help you with this. Just email us your idea and we’ll find out the best way to create the artwork.

Can I see a mock-up for every colour/size?

Unfortunately we can’t offer mock-ups for every size tee, as they are not to scale. They are to give a rough indication of sizing and positioning.

If you want a particular size for your print, this information gets added to the job sheet anyway, so the mock-up is just a guide. Usually we would only make mock-ups for the different colour prints, rather than on every garment. If you do need various mock-ups provided, there may be an additional charge.

What is a pantone reference?

Pantone is a standardised colour matching system. Specific Pantone numbers make it possible for all manufacturers and clients to reference and match the exact same colours.

When does the turnaround start from?

Turnaround time only starts when your order is paid for, we have all information to complete it, AND we have the final approval from you via email.

Can I order plain samples/return them once I have finished or if I don’t like them?

Yes. You can order plain samples of garments you would like to see but all samples are non-refundable and non-returnable. Suppliers charge a 25% restocking fee and you would need to cover the delivery costs back, so it isn’t really worth it.

How many print colours can I use?

You can use up to 12 colours on white t-shirts and 11 colours on dark t-shirts. However, the minimum order quantity increases with the number of print colours.

Do you keep the screens?

We keep the screens for 2 months after each order in the case of having to reprint them quickly. After 2 months we re-claim the screens for other jobs.

If you come back to print a previous job after it has been reclaimed we’ll charge a screen re-set fee of £15 per screen instead of £28, as long as the artwork and print colours are the same as before

What artwork resolution do you need for printing?

All Files must be 300 DPI and scaled to the required print size or a Vector File. Preferred file types are .PSD, .TIF, .EPS, .AI, .PDF, and .JPG

What is the standard screen size?

Fifth Column’s standard screen size is 28cm x 40cm.

This fills pretty much the whole front of a t-shirt

What is the jumbo/large screen size?

Our jumbo/large screen size is 40cm x 60cm

What’s the largest sleeve print you do?

This will depend on the garment you are using and how it fits on to the board. Our maximum board size allows 10cm wide x 40cm high – but this would need to be confirmed once you have provided the size breakdown and garment details.

When do I need to pay for my t-shirts?

We require full upfront payment from new clients. After a few orders, payment terms can be discussed with your account manager.

Can you do (insert crazy idea here)?

Maybe. Why don’t you drop us an email and we’ll see what we can do!

Are your shirts pretty good quality?

Yes. We source our garments from top quality suppliers.

What else can you screen print on?

We print on a wide range of garments from t-shirts, hoodies, and workwear, to jackets and bags. If you’ve got an idea of where you’d like your logo, we can probably make it a reality.

I have a quote from a competitor, can you meet or beat it?

We believe that our prices are very competitive given the skill and time we take during the production process. The quality of our work is first class. Give us the specifics of your order, we’ll assess whether we are offering the same service as the competitor, and we would hope to meet or beat it.

We need a lot of shirts, can you handle it?

We have over four decades of experience and produce thousands of garments per day. We’ll be unfazed by whatever volume you have in mind.

I'm in a rush, can you print very quickly?

If that’s the case, we’ll do whatever we can to turn your garments around to your deadline – there will be an additional charge, though.

I want to have my design printed on a few different coloured shirts, can you do that.

Yes that is absolutely fine, as long as the print colour is the same.

Can you ship overseas?

We can ship internationally, but additional delivery charges will apply and the delivery time will be longer. The cost and time will be confirmed when placing your order.

The ink colour looks slightly different than what it looked like on the computer screen proof.

This can sometimes be a tricky one, as colours appear different from screen to screen, and then in physical life too. We have a 10% tolerance for print colours to be slightly off, due to the nature of this issue. If you provide a colour reference, we will try our best to match this as closely as possible (unless a pantone is provided). We can’t guarantee colour matching, though of course we use the closest colour of ink that we can. If you have an exact colour of ink you want us to use please let us know (brand/model/PMS Colour). There may be an additional cost.

Where (locations) can you print on my clothing?

Left chest, centre chest, either side of body, upper back, middle back, lower back, upper/lower offset back, sleeves and inside the neck…lots of places!

How are shirts packaged?

We sort and fold by size and shirt colour so you can find what you are looking for quickly. Typically they are packaged in sets of 10 per size.

I want a different brand of shirt than what you generally use, can you get them?

No problem – just let us know what brand and we will work with you to get it. Any cost differences will be adjusted to the pricing on our site and in our sales.

What types of ink do you use and what’s the difference?

We use both plastisol and water-based inks. Plastisol is a thicker more opaque print, while water-based has a more vintage look to it. Plastisol is more durable ink, whereas with water-based prints you will notice some fading after the first wash. Plastisol has a plastic texture to the print area, and with water-based you cannot feel the print after the first wash.

What is an under-base and discharge and do I have to have them?

Under-base and discharge are base coats of white used on darker garments so that the other colours printed on top “pop” off the dark background. Imagine primer for painting a wall – if you don’t prime the wall the paint is dulled by the coat of paint under it. The difference between an under-base and discharge is that discharge actually “bleaches” the pigments of the shirt to a bone white allowing a softer less thick print to be applied on top. Discharge is typically used with water-based inks printed on top of it. Finally discharge ONLY works with 100% cotton garments and its consistency of white cannot be guaranteed because of the different methods of dyeing of each t-shirt supplier.

Can you send me a photo of my shirt before you print the whole order?

Yes, but only on orders of 500+ garments and we cannot hold the presses until you reply. If you need a photo proof of the first print lets us know and we will communicate a time to “be on call” for the email. We cannot delay production more than 10 min without charging a proofing fee.